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23 December 2013 @ 01:32 pm
Happy Festivus.  
Okra-homa: As the climate warms, Midwestern farmers plant southern crops [Al Jazeera]
Agriculture specialists say two things are happening: higher temperatures and a lower water table. The summer of 2012 was the third-hottest summer on record for the U.S., according to the National Climatic Data Center, with record-breaking heat waves continuing in 2013.

At the same time, little water fell. Much of Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma fell into the "exceptional" or "worst" drought category in 2012, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. It remained dry throughout much of 2013, rivaling the Dust Bowl years.

The corn wouldn't pollinate. The tomatoes crashed. Broccoli withered. So farmers started looking for hardy plants that could handle the long 100-degree spells in July and August.

The heat didn't just affect the plants. It was so dry last year, Skeeba said, that her goats went into heat months early. The goats had a set of kids in December — usually born in March or April — and then a second set at the end of June.
Freshwater shortage could double climate change effects on agriculture [UPI]

How Wall Street Power Brokers Are Designing the Future of Public Education as a Money-Making Machine [AlterNet]

Corporations increasingly spying on nonprofits, group says [LA Times]